Former Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson plead guilty to two of four counts of having sex with a 15 year old girl. Now, the 28 year old has been found guilty of a third charge and not guilty on a fourth charge.
A couple weeks ago, Johnson admitted to grooming the 15 year old, knowing she was underage as well as having sexual activity with her. He was cleared of having oral sex but was convicted on a count of digital penetration. Johnson faces 5-10 years behind bars when he returns for sentencing in a couple weeks. Johnson has a 1 year old daughter with his ex girlfriend, who ended the relationship once he admitted to the crime as well as cheating on her with other women.
Johnson had met the 15 year old Sunderland fan after he found out she had a crush on him. After some conversation online, both had agreed to meet after Johnson offered the girl one of his game worn autographed jerseys. From there, Johnson led a relationship that eventually turned into sex with the underage girl in January 2015.
After being arrested in March 2015, Sunderland decided to keep playing Johnson following a suspension at the time of the arrest. But after Johnson plead guilty a couple weeks ago, Sunderland immediately sacked him. In a statement, Sunderland said that had they known Johnson would plead guilty, they would have sacked him earlier. The team found out through the media when Johnson plead guilty on the first day of the trial a few weeks ago.
The girl who reported Johnson to authorities released her own statement following the conclusion of the trial. In her statement, she mentioned about how she has had to deal with the public not believing her as well as calling her some very unmentionable names in public as well as on social media. And that has caused her personal life as well as her schoolwork to suffer. She hopes to rebuild her life now that Johnson has finally been convicted.
Powerful statement from Adam Johnson's victim pic.twitter.com/o9HpzcaQAY
— Josh Halliday (@JoshHalliday) March 2, 2016
Everyone involved has been hurt and likely damaged for a long time due to one person’s actions. Not that I feel any sympathy for Adam Johnson, but it’s insane to think how he threw away a professional soccer career anyone would ever dream to have. Johnson’s year old daughter won’t be able to see her father for the first 5-10 years of her life because of what he did. And most importantly, the 15 year old girl was not only subjected to being sexually abused but had to face unthinkable abuse in public over the past year just because she tried to speak up against him because he was in the wrong, not her. That is something that is sadly not a new concept for victims of sexual abuse, particularly against famous people. Hopefully, she can put the pieces together and someday try to live a normal life.